New Zealand Waves (Special Edition 2018)

We believe in fostering supportive relationships and collaboration throughout our small international new music community. This is why we’re delighted to hand over to our guest curator, New Zealand composer Simon Eastwood for this Special Edition Playlist. It’s our very second international one! We offer our thanks to Simon for taking the time to put together an outstanding hour of music from our amazing colleagues ‘across the ditch’. We’re sure that as you listen to this fantastic playlist you’ll agree that this quality playlist highlights ten extremely talented composers, all of whom we encourage you to note, follow, support, program and collaborate with in ways that might be most meaningful to you. We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works on our social media over the next week, so stay tuned (or click on the composer profiles below) to learn more about the talent emerging from New Zealand.

A note from our guest curator, Simon Eastwood:

“I was fortunate to meet Lisa last year at the Melbourne Recital Centre. I’d come over for a rehearsal with Rubiks Collective and was telling her how impressed I was with the diversity and vitality of the Melbourne scene. Eventually during the conversation, however, I had to confess that I didn’t really know very many Australian composers beyond perhaps Peter Sculthorpe and Liza Lim, and, I suspected, nor did many of my colleagues in New Zealand. We remarked on that fact that, despite the close relationships between our countries, neither of us seemed to have much awareness of the music being made by out contemporaries across the ditch, and that when it came to discovering new music we both had a tendency to look towards Europe or the United States before we considered the music of our neighbours.
“Even though we live at the edge of the world, New Zealand nonetheless has a small but extremely enthusiastic New Music community in which almost everybody knows each other, and are generally on good terms, enjoying a strong sense of camaraderie. Much of this can be attributed to the work of SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music and CANZ, the Composers Association of New Zealand, who run the annual Nelson Composers Workshop.
“During my own time overseas, in between trying to explain 1) where New Zealand was and 2) that there was more to the country than the Lord of the Rings, Ruby, and Lorde, I began to notice a few of the strange quirks that define New Zealanders as a people. As I noticed these I began to wonder whether some similar attributes could be found in New Zealand music. So far the only thing which seems to be consistent in New Zealand music this music is its diversity. The composers in this collection come from a wide range of backgrounds and reflect a variety of interests. Many are currently living abroad and are making their way in the world at large. Others originate from other places but have nonetheless made important contributions to the local music scene. Naomi Weinroth, for instance, comes from the United States but has made New Zealand her home for the last four years.
“There are of course many more composers whom I would like to have included in this list, but I have tried to give as wide a representation as possible of the voices currently active in New Zealand music. I also decided that for this playlist I would focus on younger emerging voices for this playlist, even thought there are are of course many established New Zealand composers who have written incredible music. For an informative and humorous overview of the history of New Zealand composition take a look at Alex Taylor and Celeste Oram’s talk at Darmstadt in 2016 https://vimeo.com/179380397. My thanks to Lisa and Peggy for this opportunity bridge the divide between our nations, I look forward to hearing more Australian music in future playlists.”

P.S For sake of transparency, we insisted that Simon include one of his own works in the playlist, and goodness are we glad we did! Check it out below. Enjoy!

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International Women’s Day 2018

The theme for International Women’s Day in 2018 is #PressforProgress.  Here at Making Waves, we think 13+ hours of music by mostly unpublished Australian composers who happen to be women is relatively progressive.  We hope you enjoy this collection, whether you stream intensively or bookmark it to savour in stages.

However, this is ongoing work: the more composers whose music we get to know, the wider our networks reach and the more new faces we discover.  We see you out there who haven’t gotten around to sending us a track or two! Today we especially encourage women and gender diverse composers to get in touch and submit your recordings to the Making Waves curation pool.  We have tried to make the criteria as open as possible with no restrictions on gender or age, and as wide a definition of “Australian” as possible, plus occasional special editions from off-shore locations (hint: there’s another international playlist coming soon!!).

What are some ways composers and musicians “pressing for progress” in terms of gender?

The Women in Sound Women on Sound reading list is a great starting point for wider reading on and by women working in sound with some useful data-driven search tools.  We are excited to watch how this evolves as more sources are added.

Music Theory Examples By Women is an excellent resource for music educators looking to diversify their notated teaching materials.  The website also links to some sizeable playlists on Spotify, YouTube, etc.

Throwback to GRID (Gender Research in Darmstart), Feminist Activism during the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, 2016, and especially Ashley Fure’s reflections.

If you want to crunch the numbers closer to home on Australian content programmed by the Major Performing Arts Organisations, including attention to gender representation, catch Ian Whitney’s Australian Content in 2018, now an annual blogging tradition.

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International Women’s Day 2017

We are delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 with this special edition playlist! Clear your listening schedules and settle in to explore a mammoth archive of music from many of the Australian composers (and some Canadians too) featured in monthly playlists spanning January 2015 through to March 2017.

Whether composing as one who just happens to be female, through to exploring gender, femininity and feminism through their works, the archive below attests to the diversity of women working in the compositional spectrum.

Keep kicking your goals, fellow women! The arts wouldn’t be half the diverse, unique, story-telling, mind-blowing, challenging and beautiful space it is without you. We’re behind you and encourage you to take an active role in a connected, supportive community. There is room for everyone here: ears are open. We can’t wait to listen to all the music you’re going to submit to us in 2017! Happy International Women’s Day!
– Lisa & Peggy

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Canadian Waves (Special Edition June 2016)

We’re delighted to hand over to guest curator Elizabeth Knudson for a Special Edition Playlist, our very first international one! Many thanks Elizabeth, for taking the time to bring together these wonderful composers and their works. We’ll be putting the spotlight on these composers and their works over the next week, in the lead-up to July 1st, which happens to be Canada Day.

I’d like to thank Lisa and Peggy for asking me to be guest curator of the first all-Canadian edition of “Making Waves”. I’ve done my best to include some composers I really respect, and whose music I enjoy listening to. The common thread here – which I think is representative of Canadian society and culture – is the fact that its beauty lies in its diversity. In the next hour, you will hear everything from a work for solo electric guitar, to a chamber choir with solo cello, to an orchestral piece inspired by traditional Balkan music. Each composer’s work offers something unique to explore. I hope this serves as an enticing introduction to some of the wonderful contemporary music being created here in Canada. In addition to the composers’ website links (which are definitely worth checking out), another excellent resource to learn more about Canadian composers and their music is the Canadian Music Centre. Best wishes from Vancouver, Canada – and enjoy the music! – Elizabeth Knudson

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International Women’s Day 2016

Welcome to a special playlist celebrating International Women’s Day, 2016! In this bonus playlist we’ve gathered together the works by our amazingly talented, previously featured, Australian female composers since our beginnings in January 2015, through to our most recently released playlist in March 2016.

According to author Rosalind Appleby (2012) in Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers, Australia has been leading the way in gender balance in composition. “The figures continue to grow: in 2011 the AMC recorded women making up 25 per cent of composers or in real terms 146 of 585 composers are women.” Here at Making Waves we’re so excited about the thoughtful and high-quality work we’re seeing from so many Australian colleagues, regardless of gender, and we’ve made it our mission from the beginning of the project to strive not for the “75-25” benchmark, but for gender parity in our curation.  We’re thrilled to note that the campaign theme of International Women’s Day in 2016 is #PledgeForParity.

What do you think music-lovers, listeners, composers, performers, ensembles, arts organisations: is gender parity in music/the arts something on your radar? Have you got any general thoughts about gender and music, or the intricate ways other aspects of identity intersect with gender, in the fabric of music? In the industry? Leave a comment; we’d love to hear your thoughts. To read more on this topic we suggest starting with Rosalind Appleby’s recent article Women Composers – there always have been and there always will be, here.

Lastly, we feel it is important to mention that this playlist is in no way exhaustive of the number of amazing women creating music in Australia. In fact, we feel we’ve barely even scratched the surface! With this in mind we ask that you take the time to get to know the work of a composer below and share this playlist with your friends, students and colleagues.  If you enjoy our playlists you may like to sign up via our Making Waves E-Bulletins at the bottom of the page.

Composers, as  always, we encourage you to Submit your latest work to us at any time.

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